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Michelin is creating “the recipe” for 100% sustainable tyres

Today only 30% of the components of their tyres are sustainable, the goal is to reach 100% by 2050.

Michelin is committed to using only renewable materials, recycled or obtained from resources with low environmental impact. For this reason he has started several R&D projects. Currently one of their tyres contains about 200 different components: the main component is natural rubber, then there are synthetic elastomers, metals, fibers, carbon black, silica, plasticizers. They are appropriately dosed give life to an optimized compound to ensure performance and durability.

Only about 30% of the components of a Michelin tyre are now made from natural, recycled or otherwise 'sustainable' materials. The engagement of the company however is to develop a 100% sustainable tyre by 2050.

The project consists in creating a product:

  • Airless: a technology that eliminates the risk of flats and rapid pressure loss and reduces environmental impact

  • Rechargeable: a tread that can be 3D printed on demand

  • Connected: for a safe and personalized augmented driving experience

  • 100% sustainable: disruptive innovation in biosourced and recycled materials

To achieve this goal, he has put his R&D structure to work. It is formed by seven research centers where six thousand technicians and researchers work.

The company collaborates with Ademe (French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management) for the Biobutterfly project: it aims to obtain butadiene - one of the components of synthetic rubber - from biomass (wood waste, rice peel, maize fodder, etc.) replacing traditional petroleum-derived butadiene.

Since last year he is collaborating with the Canadian company Pyrowave for the chemical recycling of packaging, trays and insulating panels made of polystyrene, from which to obtain styrene. It is a regenerated monomer that Michelin could use in the SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene copolymer) rubber formulation, a component required in the manufacture of tyres.

He then collaborates with Enviro to build in Chile the first system for chemical recycling of end-of-life tyres (PFU), from which to obtain pyrolysis oil (reusable in petrochemical processes), steel and carbon black. The plan is to create a system in a position to treating 30 thousand tons of pneumatic every year.

“With VISION, Michelin has pledged to meet the dual challenge of innovation and environmental responsibility. This new concept is projecting us into the future of sustainable mobility and guiding our strategic decisions, in line with our values and our corporate DNA. More than just a vision of the future, it’s a roadmap whose feasibility, effectiveness and advancement Michelin will be demonstrating year after year.” said Florent Menegaux, the Group Michelin CEO.



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